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A Step by Step Guide for Parents Making the Transition to College

Students and their families experience serious challenges when it’s time to leave for college. Whether your child is attending school nearby or relocating to a different town or even country to study, you need to be well prepared for this transition. The feelings of sadness, loss and concern can quickly make a parent’s life unbearable. We’ll share with you a few guidelines to prepare students and their parents for life in college.

How to prepare for college

Discuss with your child: It’s important to have an open discussion with your child. Talk about your concerns and fears and express your expectations in regards to academics, financial management and safety before they leave.

Educate: College presents a lot of social pressure. It’s upon you to help prepare your child for the pressures that come and let them know how to watch out for dangers such as sex, drugs and alcohol that may consume their college life.

Reassure: Your child needs the assurance that everything will continue running smoothly back at home and that he/she can seek help if need be. It is very important for a parent to ensure a child feels supported and listened to. If you feel like your child is nervous about settling in at the York U residence, discuss this openly beforehand.

How to handle your child’s first year in college

Encourage independence: As a parent, you need to encourage your child to be self-reliant. This means allowing your child to pursue his goals, make mistakes and solve problems on his own before rushing to you. It also means managing finances, meeting deadlines and taking responsibility whenever they go wrong. However, make sure your child knows that you are there in case of anything.

Engage in activities: As a parent, you need to learn coping skills that will help you move on after your child goes to college. Find a hobby or activity that you can do to distract you when you feel sad, lonely or concern about your child. Children should also be encouraged to take part in activities like sports or hobbies when living on campus near York University to avoid feeling homesick.

Keep in touch: It’s always good to check on your child once in a while. Just don’t overdo it or pay them a surprise visit. Calls, e-mails and cards are a great way to stay in touch. But make sure you schedule a regular time to talk on phone say once every week. You may even opt to chat online if living in York University housing facility with high speed internet connection. This helps to ensure your child feels connected to the family back at home.

Watch out for difficulty or potential stressors

As a parent, you need to watch out for signs of difficulty or distress with college life. For instance, if your child has expressed need for help or seems depressed, sad and moody for prolonged periods, it’s important to get them help. Talk to your child if you notice any changes in emotions or behaviors. Most student communities also have professional counselors who offer help.

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